Gotthard - Human Zoo
Hard Rock
12 songs (49'10)
Release year: 2003
Reviewed by Danny

The most famous Swiss hard rock band is back with their new record, Human Zoo. After the excellent Homerun, I was wondering if Gotthard could reiterate a second masterpiece in a row. Well even though this one is an excellent shot, I have to admit that the quality and the feeling of Homerun is less palpable on Human Zoo. What I mean of course is that their previous album is simply a rock, a topnotch album shadowing the quality of the new studio album.

The opener Human Zoo leaves no doubt : Gotthard know how to write "sure valuable" hard rock hymn. This track reminds me very much Bon Jovi and gets printed in your mind immediately. What I Like - a kind of "power ballad" - is escorted by a classic guitar and the number of "sounds" surrounding this song gives another dimension to this track - especially the wonderful violin in the back.

Top Of The World is the hit of the album. The opener guitar riff hits you right in the face and doesn't leave you until the end to the track. I personally compare this tack to the best Bon Jovi/Van Halen songs. Actually Top Of The World reminds me Panama (Van Halen). The chorus is marvelous and Steeve Lee's vocal performance is really impressive. A future classic ! And if you like this one, check also Where I Belong, another future classic. Long Way Down should have been placed much earlier, in the five first songs. This hard rock/bluesy song highlighting the "skill" of the Swiss band when it comes to song-writing. What Can I Do is the ballad that will "invade" once again Switzerland's radio.

Songs like One In A Million, Janie's Not Alone or the ballads Have A Little Faith, First Time In A Long Time and No Tomorrow are typical trademark songs. Nothing new, nothing bad ... just like it is the case with AC/DC ... the band delivers its usual "rockets". If you like double drums, speedy killing riffs, atomic bass or "true metal" hymns, pass your way as Gotthard walk on the pop/hard rock side.

Now let's talk of Mr. Steeve Lee - singer of the band. I could say that both Homerun and Human Zoo are classic hard rock albums, almost conventional stuff. What makes here the main difference with the tones of underground hard rock band and Gotthard is their singer. This guy illuminates alone all the songs, makes the distinction with his vocals. It took me a long time to spot him, but if you know and like Rod Steward, let's say Steeve Lee sings almost like him, if not better. A scorer, simple as that.

I admit that the number of ballads/power ballads is disproportional for a hard rock band. But like anything, if you want to get to the heart of it, you gotta get down to the crude parts of it. The more you listen to Human Zoo, the more it hits your heart. The soul of Gotthard lies in this record ... and I must admit that Gotthard's soul has moved away from hard rock. Homerun was opening the road, Human Zoo confirms it : this band has chosen the pop/hard rock way. It doesn't mean it's bad, it rocks simply lesser than before. Although I've never referred to Gotthard as a "true metal band", I've always considered them as great rock musicians. Queen isn't fantastic ?

The kind of "holiday-album" you listen on the beach ... while you're watching these wonderful (wo)men passing by :)

Killing Songs :
Human Zoo, What I Like, Top Of The World, Wehre I Belong
Danny quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by Gotthard that we have reviewed:
Gotthard - Firebirth reviewed by Chris and quoted 70 / 100
Gotthard - Need To Believe reviewed by Elias and quoted 90 / 100
Gotthard - Lip Service reviewed by Danny and quoted 97 / 100
Gotthard - Homerun reviewed by Chris and quoted 91 / 100
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